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 Cedric Morris  (1889 - 1982)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: Floral and landscape painting

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Biography from Gorringes - Sussex:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Self-taught, in his early years Cedric Morris' work was considered wildly unconventional with his exuberant use of paint and his unworldly depiction that somehow still captured the essence of the subject matter.  A style that foretells the work of artists such as Mary Fedden.  Having studied in Newlyn, Paris and London in 1926 Morris was nominated for election by Ben and Winifred Nicholson to the Seven and Five Society, later winning several commissions most notably for Shell designing the 'Summer Shell' and 'Gardeners Use Shell' posters.

The 1930's saw Morris moving with his partner Arthur Lett-Haines to Suffolk where he founded the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, students included Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling.  Visitors included the painter John Nash, the cookery writer Elizabeth David and Kathleen Hale, creator of Orlando the Marmalade Cat who pictured both Morris and Lett-Haines in her children's stories.

Morris concentrated on his gardening as avidly as his painting. He bred numerous plants with a rose, a geranium, a daffodil, poppies and irises being named after him (his work 'Iris Seedlings' hangs in the Tate).  His gardens influenced Vita Sackville-West, Beth Chatto and Tony Venison.  Sackville-West planted bearded irises grown by Morris at Sissinghurst; Beth Chatto later grew Narcissus minor 'Cedric Morris' commercially at her nursery in Essex.

Two years after his death a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Tate Gallery.

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